Column by J1 reporter Haley Hoffman
When I was little, I went home to drop my backpack on the kitchen floor, change out of my plain uniform, and hop on my bike to ride down to the neighborhood pond. I also spent many hours playing dress-up with my neighborhood girlfriends and wiffle-ball in the backyard.
Today’s kids get to sit on the couch scrolling through TikTok, watching today’s “influencers” dance to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’.
Social media in the new age has me worried for the newest generation of young girls.
One of the biggest topics of conversation from a mother to her daughter is self love and confidence. Marian preaches to its students that they should be, “Confident to be me.” With the breakthrough in female presence in music, politics, and male-driven occupations, there is no doubt that the ball is rolling on teaching young girls to be powerful.
But, at what point do females attain too much confidence?
There is a point where women can call themselves “confident” and “inspirational,” but past that point, women start to deteriorate their own self worth and self image.
In the first week of the release of “WAP”, it hit #1 on Billboard and had 93 million streams in the first week. The controversy over whether this song promotes self- confidence or the over-sexualization of women has been huge.
The way that the artists of this song portray women is offensive and degrading. With a song, it is so easy to say what you want and not get reprimanded for it. When taking the time to read through the lyrics without the beat, it is downright disgusting.
Along with this, more women are coming out to admit that they acquired their fame and money by selling their bodies. On podcasts, girls are able to get free tips on how to pleasure men and how to be better than the other girl because of what they are able to give sexually.
What are we doing to our children?
Thankfully, there are inspirational women that are getting major praise in the social world. Take Sienna Mae Gomez, a TikTok influencer who gained her popularity by showing off her natural body and all of its “perfect imperfections” in her dances, or Victoria Garrick, a mental health advocate and TED Talk speaker who spreads awareness about eating disorders and loving yourself. But sadly, it seems that these women are overshined by females who make money off of their bodies in an R-rated way.
The internet is free, and the majority of girls, before they are even teenagers, have access to it. This is what our newest generation is learning. This is what they accept as normal. They don’t know any better, and we did this to them.
The only way we can help our young girls create confidence in themselves is by showing them that they need to be strong-willed, intelligent women who don’t need to rely on their body to make it in the world. We have the power to change this, but we can only do it if we all act together for it for the greater good of the next generation of young women.